Tuesday, January 22, 2008

1000 pages a Year!?? Yes!

100 pages a month?
1000 or MORE pages a year?

Yes it is true. :) 1000 12x12 scrapbook pages a year....that means I usually average 100 pages a month or more. And not bad ones either! LOL

2000- 707 pages
2001- 487 pages
2002 - 1202 pages
2003- 1321 pages
2004- 1304 pages
2005-1172 pages
2006-1326 pages
2007-1358 pages

For the last 5 years I have averaged over 100 a month. that makes well over 1000 a year! How do I get over 100 pages a month? I think it is a combination of learned tricks over the last 15 years as a scrapbooker and paper arts/scrapbooking teacher.

These rates are do-able for many people. Not everyone...but many more people can do this than currently THINK they can! Getting pages/books done is a combination of things I do that add up to the total package when scrapping. here are my top 15 tips.

I begin with a fundamental NEED to get my photos (and my heritage photos) documented and out of magnetic albums and old acidic environments as soon as possible. Motivation is truly a key. Time IS a factor. Don't think you can dally here. In this one aspect, this is not a leisurely hobby. Those photos need out of those bad environments as soon as possible. The oldest photos need to be documented as soon as possible. You don't have the luxury of dallying 45 minutes over 13 brown background paper choices when you have over 1000 photos sitting in acidic conditions. Pick a nice one and move on. :)

You will not last forever and neither will your knowledge. So I guess I start with a MOTIVATION to go as fast as I can and still enjoy the hobby and create a wonderful album for my family. I am 47. Already this year I have lost 4 friends in my age group --and two others my parents age-- to various deaths. They left their photos undone. They all thought they had plenty of time for such hobbies and frills 'later'. Do what you want to do NOW. Ok off the soapbox and on to specifics: :)

My supplies are organized. I don't have to spend 10 to 15 minutes looking for any one item. Every 15 minutes that I waste in my day is forfeiting a half a page that could have been done. Every 30 minutes a day I waste is a page that my family will never see. Like it or not, that is the reality of the modern day life and lack of hobby/free time.

I make page kits. This shaves off SO many minutes in the page making process. You are sort of going at the organization of the kits in an assembly line style. Join Scrapperschallenge also here at Yahoogroups if you need more tips on this process.

I take shortcuts like using sticker letters or die cut letters instead of cutting them by hand. I use rub on lettering when I can't use my computer for smaller wording. I add pop dots to make my own fast sticker accents dimensional. And I use glue dots for lumpy items just so I don't have to wait for the specialty liquid glues to dry. I use Coluzzles because they make the shape I want faster than any other packable crop template cutting system. I take shortcuts like these whenever I can. I still make the design great but I know now which techniques are fast for me --and which are slow.

I use computer journaling if I am at home and hand journaling if I am away from home. This automatically gives me a mix of styles. It also allows my family to have SOME of my handwriting in my books. And it is FAST. I never have to "wait" to get to the computer to finish off a page. I can slip it into the page protector and not go back. That page is DONE!

I leave the majority of my photos in squares or rectangles. I do crop the boring edges off and keep the edges straight. But I don't make too many circles or ovals or hearts etc on each page. I do use a ratio of about 4 'straight' edged photos (squares or rectangles) to every one 'round' edged photo (oval or round). This gives the page a bit of visual relief and still keeps my photo cropping time to a minimum. I use my paper trimmer for the straight edged ones and my coluzzles for the rounded styles. I do sometimes use a corner rounder punch now and then too but only about every 10 to 20th photo.

I do mat a lot (about half?). If I have 4 or 5 photos on the page I will mat the 1 to 3 that are real focal photos. I don't mat the lesser quality photos on the page. But matting is simple to do and fast because (as noted above) I am using mostly straight edge photos and coluzzle shapes
which simplify matting too. I glue the photo to the mat paper 1/8 from the edge and zip zip zip I am done cutting the mat with 3 simple straight cuts on the other three sides.

I use about 50-50 proportion or sometimes a 1/3 to 2/3 ration of cardstock to pattern papers. Don't overdoo the pattern papers. Unless you are going monochromatic and then you can pile on the patterns! LOL For most page kits I use one sheet of pattern and one or 1 and half of cardstock in coordinating colors. Sometimes the pattern is the background if it is not too overwhelming and sometimes the pattern is used for matting and accents. I like the 50-50 balance as long as my pattern is not too wild because I don't want pattern papers to overshadow the photos. this helps me go faster pulling page kits together too. I usually grab one pattern and one cardstock or maybe two. Poof! I am ready with the paper.

I use coordinating paper packs for various themed sections in my chronological albums or even whole albums like a vacation or big event. This saves about 10 minutes per page on paper choices AND it makes the section look coherent and coordinated. 10 minutes a page times 40 pages
in an album is a whopping 400 minutes or over 6 1/2 HOURS!! I am sure you can find a coordinating paper pack you love to use if it will save you a whole DAY of scrapping time!!!!!

I use ready made embellishments. If it is in theme and in the right 'mood' and color scheme, I will likely use it. I do some handmade embellishments too but those are for very special pages. Since I am doing every photo I own (over 43 yrs worth plus heritage) I can use pretty much any premade item at least once and not repeat the same embellishments. I use stickers but I mat them to give them body and anchor them on a page just like other elements. Don't ignore your stickers and premade items! Use up those swaps as well.

I have over 96 albums done so far and no two pages are alike. I am sure this is due to my use of store bought embellishments. :) There is a whole 'premade' and 'precoordinated' section of the sb industry out there waiting to help us go faster. If we are going to spend the time and money on something, let's make it simple on ourselves. You can also make your own simple embellishements. Learn to love pop dots and chalk. :)

Don't overly engage in swaps or cardmaking just for cardmaking sake.... I swap and use what I get in swaps. I am in a very LIMITED number of swaps. I hostess only one swap a month and
get back about 40 page kits. (Because I am in all 4 rounds of ten) That is the ONLY swap I do monthly. Why? Because I only NEED 40 kits a month from other sources. If I am making 100 pages a month, only at max will I need 40 of these. The remaining 60 pages can certainly be from my own stash of kits and supplies here at home. I am, after all, in the mode to USE my stuff up. So no need for me to SWAP for more than half of what I realistically will use in a month. If your swap to page ratio is not at that level, you may want to cut back on swaps?? ...at least for a few months. Don't get in over your head for very little album-worthy result.

Stay off the lists and chats. Why is it the same gals I see saying they only get 1 page done a month are the same ones I see posting on many various lists all throughout the day? remember, the internet is a big magnet. A wonderful library of information...and so much to look at and
dream about doing in sb land.... (not to mention our other hobbies too!) But it will suck all that limited hobby time away. Go no mail and read from the websites on yahoo if needed. You will save at least 20 minutes a day deleting emails. AND you will find you don't run back to the email
every hour 'just to check'. Check it once a day or twice a day at set times. Or learn to filter the email so you only get the BEST lists and tips and drop the rest into the trash automatically so you don't have to click it through to dump it. Don't sit in front of the screen when you
could be creating a legacy for your family. Don't get sucked in!!!!!! LOL Go do a page or two instead.

12.) RELAX
I am not so hard on myself. If I get a page done and it is not 'perfect' in every way but I do like it, I keep it as is. I don't go back and fuss over it all over again. And if others who see it oohh and ahhh over it, more the better. I guess they don't see the flaws the way I do. RECOGNIZE that no one is as critical of your own work as you are. And let it go to some degree. I keep that bigger picture in mind from the first paragraph above.

My family wants the pages done so they can view them and enjoy them...not perfect.

I figure it will take me about 90-100 albums total to be caught up on my lifetime of photos and all my heritage work. I would rather have 56 albums done with 50% of our family history shared and enjoyable and nicely made than have only 1 or 2 albums perfectly made with only
1/100th of our family history shown.

Don't worry 100 albums will still fit in my bookcases. :)

14) IGNORE TRENDS--(well sorta!)
Well don't ignore them. But don't go hog wild either. Trends and looks come and go in scrapbooking. Punch art, paperdolls, paper piecing, paper folding have all had big surges in the last 5 years. Recently it has been eyelets, fibers and metals. Coming up looks like swirls, charms and collage. All GREAT things.

But don't get so sucked into ogling any of them online that you neglect to go do actual PAGES for your family! If you are spending 6 hours a week searching for the newest eyelet shapes and colors, then you are not scrapping those 6 hours are you? Again you
have eaten up that limited hobby time. Add in the new stuff in moderation....as my great grandfather Ed used to say, "All things are better in moderation!"

You have probably heard the saying Copy and Steal Everything (CASE) in reference to layouts. If you having scrapper's block today and are not feeling creative, CASE and copy one in an idea book. The page will still get done!! No one will mind! That's what those books and magazines are
for!!!!! DOn't let blocks stop you!!!! Keep going. :) Use the INSPIRATIONS links on ScrappersChallenge to your benefit.

Well, those are my 15 best 'secrets' for speedier scrapping and getting over 100 pages a month. In combination, they do work!!!! That's all I can say! I would say 'the proof is in the pudding' but really for us at our house-- the proof is in the bookcase! LOL

*copyright 2008 Rockester


Anonymous said...

Rock, You are truely inspiring. I look forward to filling my bookcase in the same way that you have filled yours...

Miao said...

I´m truly stunned:) I´ll have try to have some of your excellent tips in mind. I do tend to get hooked up by tje computer some times:)

Thanks, Mia from Sweden

sungoddess said...

Thank you for this amazing post. Truly inspiring. I am totlly loving Scrappers Challenge, and it's been helping me to get organised and get into the groove of making more pages! Thanks!

Pinkkihelmi said...

This is best advice I've seen about SB. You do great work!

Bridgett said...

Rock, you are ALWAYS an inspiration to me! This post is no exception and I am printing it out (including the copyright) because I want to be reminded of these tips if I get sidetracked. I am going to put them in my big binder that has all my important lists and information in it. I have not scrapped much lately and keep feeling more and more guilty about it. I am definitely more motivated now to just go do it and scrap! Even just scrapping a few pages a month is better than putting it off until I have time to do LOTS of pages!

jazznjava said...

Wonderful advice.

Janelle said...

Wow! 1000 pages, that's incredible! Thanks for sharing your tips, I think they'll help me reach my own (much smaller) goal.

Bek Milne said...

Thank you for helping me make the realisation that scrapping is just as important as the cooking, laundry or gardening, I can now feel better making it a priority, becuase the memories will be alive, long after the roses, or dinner, or the next load of washing!!! Thanks.

Tina Campbell said...

Wow I'm impressed! You have amazing insight about scrapbooking that we should all do in this hobby. I had best get started if I want to do even half of that. Thanks, Tina from PA